The problem in football runs deeper than ‘a few bad apples’ | Emma Kay

From kick-off ecstasy to full time agony, we are still reeling over the result of the penalty shoot-out of the UEFA Euro final but truthfully, we should be reeling over the appalling behaviour of our so-called fans.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 8:34 am
People place messages of support over offensive wording on the mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford on Copson Street, Withington, which appeared vandalised the morning after the England football team lost the UEFA Euro 2020 final, July 12, 2021. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

In the short term our loss does matter, but not in the grand scheme of things really. Once the disappointment fades away, we can all remember the pride we felt from this summer when England blazed their way to the finals of the European Football Championship.

But sadly, that pride has come with a very large fall and a burst of misplaced rage and embarrassment to us from our fellow fans.

It is easy to blame it on a ‘few bad apples’ but the national and international press have been relentless and strikingly recurrent in terms of easily finding stories of English fans behaving disgracefully towards other fans, teams, even the ones they are supporting. It is all too easy to see stories that keep on cropping up of the dangerous and monstrous practices of the English football fan. If anything it is actually harder to avoid the stories.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The list goes on and on and has done for years. From burning Italian flags, mass arrests, ticket fans breaking into Wembley, booing players for taking the knee, booing the oppositions’ national anthems, shining a laser pen into the face of the opposing team’s goalie. Or how about the fairness of setting off fireworks purposefully at 2am where the Italian team were sleeping just before the match? How about our fans making a young German girl who cried during Germany’s loss to England an online target of horrific and horrendous abuse and then, in a cruel twist of the cowardly knife, viciously abusing the Welsh fan who fought to take a stand against hate in football by supporting her? He now has ongoing personal threats sent to him and his family on a daily basis. Last but by no means least, the highly racist rhetoric aimed at Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford that included racist slurs along with monkey and banana emoji’s spamming their social media. The Marcus Rashford mural, in recognition of his work for children in poverty, was vandalised less than an hour after the match. I imagine as I write this long list, more heinous acts will be be brought to light.

This nasty undercurrent is sadly, nothing new. Football hooliganism of the 1980s was at a record high and now in 2021 these ‘fans’ are finding new and callously creative ways to spread misery. With the rest of the world watching our atrocious antics it’s hard not to wonder why others see us all as the bad guys.

Charity shops will price themselves out of the market

Charity shops have become a multi-coloured minefield to find a bargain these days.

I have lost count of the amount of over-zealously priced labels I have encountered recently. To pay £12-plus for a garment that has been ‘previously loved’ so many times that the original colour is just a faded memory and with little left to give.

Many a stretched and misshapen item is stuffed on a shelf or rail with a price tag that ensures it will be there for years to come. You could argue that Covid has pushed up the prices but in reality, charity shops are receiving record donations and are bloated to the brim with what should be bargains. Charities have to make money of course, but strapping on an astronomical price label does not encourage the cash to splash, if anything it will flow in the opposite direction and drive customers away.

Cooking shows with dinner? It’s the perfect time to watch

Watching cooking shows while eating dinner has become a new staple in our household.

While it may seem strange to watch someone else cook while we scoff our own supper is actually the best time to take in shows like this.

The reason being is that our tummies are securely settled and supped and we are more receptive to taking in vital cooking and baking information without feeling the need to raid the fridge and snack making it far easier to take cooking notes when you are not distracted. Binging with Babish and Barry Lewis are now home favourites.

A smattering of flour, egg and butter and cooked meats are technicoloured tantalising treats for our viewing. If you are a fast eater and do not want to park yourself in front of the TV for ages after digesting your meal I recommend dining to a recipe. You’ll get plenty of creative culinary ideas for your next meal.